Dejection reigns supreme at the Notwane Football club following a court of appeal ruling that the embattled club had no case to argue in the first place.
The team cried foul that its mother body, Botswana Football Association (BFA) and its sub-structures refused to accede to their plea that Maun based outfit Sankoyo Bush Bucks had fielded a defaulter against them. The association had concluded that the wording of Notwane‘s letter did not amount to an appeal but rather a complaint. Although, a struggling team from Selibe Phikwe, FC Satmos was to later benefit from the same offence committed by Sankoyo, Notwane felt aggrieved and took to the courts of law.
In their eyes, the association and its relevant structures were conflicted when addressing the dispute that drastically led to their first ever relegation. Toronto Boys, as Notwane is popularly known would later play a crucial tie with FC Satmos. The primary reason why both Notwane and FC Satmos had to play together was that the Selibe Phikwe side had profited three soft points from Sankoyo while Notwane did not benefit the same, although the same players was used against both teams. The resultant game was to decide on who should remain in the elite league and who should relegate.
While the high court had dismissed Notwane in their attempt to stop their game against FC Santos citing that their application failed to satisfy legal requirements, the gold and black machine was threading on thin ice the minute they thought of appealing.
Notwane’s counsel had argued at length that the court should not concern itself with consequences of any order but rather focus on circumstances that forced them to seek legal redress. It was Notwane’s hopes that appealing the case may clear up the parties’ rights in respect of their entitlement to soft points from Sankoyo Bush Bucks.
However, the court of appeal rubber stamped what the high court has declared that; ‘as a general rule, courts exist for the settlement of controversies and actual infringement of rights, not to pronounce upon abstract questions or to advise upon differing contentions, however important.’’
Notably, the court of appeal pointed out that the club was destined for failure the moment they stepped into the high court. The appeal panel observed that the association had already dealt with Notwane’s complaint and showed reasons as to why it was not important for them to benefit from Sankoyo’s soft points. BFA had pointed out that ‘Notwane was not entitled to have its matter heard and that the only remedy available would have been a fine and not points. The BFA dispute committees also declared that even if Notwane was to gain the three ‘freebie points’, the team’s position was not to change and the playoff would still have involved them and FC Satmos.
The appeals board further observed that Notwane failed in its application before the high court to address the BFA communication which constituted a decision by the mother body.
Another nail was driven into Notwane’s casket with the observation that the team failed to ask the court to review and set aside the decision by the BFA final body. The premier league disciplinary committee had indicated that it could not entertain a complaint already determined by the mother body. The team lost with cost. Regulations to note
6.2 Any team that fields a defaulter in a league game and a complaint or protest or information about the use of an alleged defaulter is brought to the attention of the relevant or disciplinary committee within 30 days of the date of the said league game, shall
6.2.1 forfeit three (3) points and two (2) goals to the opposing team for every game that the defaulter shall have played in a given season, provided that procedures relating to protests shall be heard to
6..2.2 be liable for a fine not less than P 1000.00 and not exceeding P2.000.00 for premier league and First Division leagues and not less than P500.00 and exceeding P 1000.00 for any other league.
The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare, is eager to lead crunch talks that will consequently see Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) becoming one authoritative sport entity.
The appointment of one Tuelo Serufho to the plum position of BNSC Chief Executive Officer two week ago has further catalysed the intention to merge the sports bodies to avoid the long standing complaints of duplication of roles by the two.
Serufho was replacing Falcom Sedimo whose contract was not renewed.Serufho, ironically is the longest serving CEO of BNOC and also a board member of BNSC.“One of our aims is to form a robust sport body to centralize and improve decision making processes and maybe the time to resuscitate BNSC/BNOC merger is now,” Rakgare briefly shared.
The impending move is highly meant to improve effective functioning, governance and performance of sports in the country both locally and globally.Should this see the light of day, Botswana would have done itself a favour and it would start sending a handful of athletes to international competitions.
The amalgamation of BNSC/BNOC talks have been in the pipelines but discussions were aborted two years ago without clear reasons. The creation of this all-encompassing sport institution is overdue according to the minister.
“It is in fact our mandate to make sure this happens, it is overdue and by next year we hope to have finalised our position paper,” Rakgare added.The creation of the looming body is borne out of lessons learnt from various sports governance models around the world.
In South Africa, the sports ministry facilitated discussions to merge National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and the South African Sports Commission. Their authoritative sports body is now called South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
With the South African model well in place, Botswana is urged to bench mark and create a sport body as a civic society-based organisation as required by the statutes of international sports bodies.The name of the local sport body is mooted and the minister refused to give a hint. But he is optimistic that the body will be the vanguard organization of sport in the country.
He emphasized that the sports organisation should be a purposeful guardian for governance and management of sports and be the required defining figure of the role of sports in Botswana’s communities.Talks to revamp and rebuild these sports bodies come at a time when BNSC is restructuring.
When Sedimo was still at the helm, he wanted to phase out some positions which he felt were unnecessary.BNSC receive close to 53 million Pula as grants from the government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports development and Culture empowerment while BNOC takes a figure a closer to that.
Township Rollers is anticipated to spent around P 50 000 to expatriate their foreign based players amid ravaging corona virus threats. The club, in collaboration with the Football Union of Botswana (FUB) tested Francis Afriyie, Fabian Assagou Guy and Kamogelo Matsabu before they can head to their native countries.
The trio are awaiting the results which are all expected to come out negative, following which they will immediately board planes to their various destinations. Afriyie was a Rollers striker from Ghana.
Matsabu, regarded the darling of the club is heading back to South Africa while Guy signed by the club but has never impressed, will board a plane back to Ivory Coast.It is likely that both Matsabu and Guy will return as they are still contracted to Rollers. However, Afriyie will not return after failing Rollers litmus test.
The striker failed to break into the starting 11 of head coach Frank Nuttall for the season and it appeared that frustration got to him. And when it finally knocked him down, the striker in a rough and unexpected remonstration stormed out of the bench while a Rollers game was on.
The former Gho Maria striker penned a two year deal in January and it is rumoured that his contract was heavily incentivized, catapulting him to being one of the highest paid players at Rollers.His end of season departure will now put a serious question mark over Rollers’ recruitment policy.
He becomes the fourth foreign striker to fail the club examinations and released while on contract. Before him was, Mthokosize Msomi from South Africa, Terrence Mandawa from Tanzania and Fabian Mbowa from Ivory Coast. Msomi and Mandawa’s release were sanctioned by former coach Nikola Kavazovic. Mbowa is loaned to Police XI to create space and playing opportunity for the now departing Afriyie.
Releasing Afriyie will now mean that the club’s striking woes continue. Rollers management complained at times last season at the lack of productivity from their strikers but they hoped that striker Tumisang Orebonye and other targeted signings, aided perhaps by Edwin Moalosi who remains on the books, could fire an upturn.
However, it was never meant to be as they finished the season second behind league winners, Jwaneng Galaxy.
Black Leopards head coach, Joel Masutha, is reported to have orchestrated a move that could see mid fielder-cum-striker, Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele, being dropped by Leopards.
WeekendSport has learnt that the coach summoned the Zebras former captain to a one-on-one meeting a month ago to relay the bad news. It is reported that Masutha told the player that he is surplus to requirement and therefore he will not be selected for any game unless he opts to leave.
Reports further state that Tsotso was not encouraged to fight for his position but instead was told that there are better players to be tasked with scoring responsibilities and helping the club to dodge the dreaded relegation axe.Ngele therefore is waiting for his contract to expire before plotting his next move. He is said to be torn between playing for one more year in South Africa and coming to Botswana to play for high paying Township Rollers.
The Rollers decision will once again hinge on his private business which he would love to monitor closely. He owns a sports clothing label where he already signed a two year deal with Notwane FC.Ngele’s career at Leopards blew hot and cold. He only enjoyed his stay when his former coach Calvin Johnson was at the helm.
He played in crucial matches and his stunning free kick against log leaders Kaizer Chiefs is still remembered by his followers.However, there have been many other factors at play.It is said Ngele’s future at Thohoyandou- a location where Black Leopards is based- encountered problems of many kinds. His future is believed to have been dulled by injuries and a confidence that strangely refused to bloom.
The player is also said to have broken ranks with Leopards management where he shocked them when playing for the senior national team last year albeit claiming to be suffering from a thigh injury. Ngele had signed a two year deal, but as things stand, the left footed midfielder is heading out as his contract staggers to an end. He is believed to be earning close to R80 000 after tax deductions.
The lifestyle and living conditions at Thohoyandou are also seen as factors that further complicate Ngele’s situation hence the sudden collapse of concentration in football.Ngele is said to be represented by Tim Sukazi who still hopes that the player’s breakthrough career is worth fighting for.
When signed by high spending Mamelodi Sundowns almost 5 years ago, he was represented by Mike Makaab, also a renowned football agent in South Africa.It is growing precarious for Ngele who was chained for longer spells at Sundowns.
But when a move to Leopards was announced, there was a high expectation that the player was nearing his revolutionary season.